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April 17, 2014

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Activists: Siege of Damascus camp grows deadlier

Updated Wednesday, Jan. 29, 2014 | 11 a.m.

BEIRUT (AP) — An activist group says the death toll from a months-long siege on a Palestinian refugee camp in the Syrian capital has risen to at least 85.

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said Wednesday that the deaths in the Yarmouk camp are the result of poor living conditions, starvation and illnesses exacerbated by hunger or the severe lack of medical aid.

Forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad have blockaded Yarmouk for months, preventing food and medicine from entering the neighborhood that was once home to some 160,000 Palestinians.

Activists and residents previously said that more than 60 people had died during the siege.

Authorities recently allowed a few hundred food parcels into the camp in what appeared to be a goodwill gesture ahead of peace talks in Switzerland.